Edmonton

Get 'er done: Jason Kenney primes party for unity vote

Alberta Progressive Conservative leader Jason Kenney primed his supporters Wednesday for an upcoming vote that could merge his party with the province's Wildrose.

'For unity, this is probably do or die on July 22,' Alberta Progressive Conservative leader says

Jason Kenney promoted a merger between his Alberta Progressive Conservative party and the the province's Wildrose Party to a crowd of supporters Wednesday. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

Alberta Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney primed supporters in Edmonton Wednesday for a vote that could unite the province's political right in two weeks.

He pushed the proposed merger between the PC and Wildrose parties to a crowd of hundreds.

"Together we will renew the Alberta advantage and re-ignite the flame of this province as a sign of hope and opportunity for people around the world and for generations to come," he told supporters.

"We will once again, as in the words of our province's motto, be an Alberta strong and free, so let's get 'er done."

Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta's Progressive Conservative party, said the unity vote on July 22 will 'make or break' a united right in the province. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

A joined party, which would be called the United Conservative Party, is the only way to topple Premier Rachel Notley's NDP in the next provincial election, Kenney said.

The proposed merger needs 75 per cent approval from Wildrose members and just over 50 per cent from Progressive Conservatives.

Some of Kenney's supporters are buying Wildrose memberships so they can vote twice in favour of uniting the two right-wing parties.

"There's no rule against it," Kenney told reporters after Wednesday's rally. "If they're comfortable to do so, they're welcome to."

If the merger fails by a significant margin, Kenney said he will accept the decision and continue as leader of the Progressive Conservative party.

"There's no easy Plan B, there's no automatic fall-back position, there's no guarantee that we could negotiate a different agreement," he added. 

"People should know that for unity, this is probably do or die on July 22."

If the proposed merger goes ahead, members of the new party will elect a new leader in October.

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